Will copywriting ever be automated?

It sounds like something out of Black Mirror or Bladerunner (or Fifth Element…did you see that? One of the best films ever made, seriously) but one day, automation is going to affect our lives. Big time.

In some cases we already trust automation to take care of things in our everyday schedules. If you’ve got an Alexa taking down your shopping lists, or a Hive switching off your heating while you’re out for the day, you’re already enjoying the advantages of an automation-led future. How exciting is that?!

But what if computer programmes could help streamline your workflow? Would you use a robot to make your copywriting tasks easier?

Hyperspeed Headlines

You might not know this, but there are already programmes out there that are used regularly to write basic news reports for news agencies. The odd thing? You can barely tell the difference between a short court report written up by a human and a traffic update composed by AI. Ouch.

This technology has been used to create advertising copy, too, using Google’s ‘cost-per-click’ system to train tech to make ads that play it safe, thereby encouraging more clicks while driving costs down.

However, marketing corporation Dentsu Aegis Network decided this wasn’t ground-breaking enough for them. As advertising giants, they knew that creativity is what drives the best marketing campaigns. So, they set off on a journey to teach their algorithms how to ‘think’, ‘feel’ and ultimately, get funny.

According to a fascinating news story about the project on BBC.co.uk, managing director of Dentsu Aegis Network Audrey Kuah said: "Our ambition is to train this AI copywriter to learn how to inject a little bit of that human creativity.”

The robots are coming…

The robots are coming…

The Human Touch

Does this spell the end of the road for creative copywriters?

I honestly don’t think so. While algorithms can be trained to write snappy, empirically interesting copy, the only creativity they can offer is learned.

In that respect, a human element has to exist, in order to push the creative boundaries.

I love writing heartfelt, engaging copy that informs, attracts and moves readers to act. I can’t deny that the idea of having an AI assistant I can send repetitive tasks to is actually a dream come true, for both me and my clients. Imagine all the time I could dedicate to producing thoughtful, creative content! Imagine how much more efficient the processes involved in setting up a website – for example – would be?

 I’m not concerned that robots will take my job. Well, let’s hope not; I quite like doing what I do.


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At the end of the day, creativity comes from your lived experiences, your personality, your likes and dislikes and your own personal hunches. What works for one agency might not work for another. Ads that bring home thousands of pounds in revenue for one company might fall flat for others. That’s why humans, with our amazing adaptability and problem-solving skills, could never really be replaced.

I’m actually excited about where AI might take the creative marketing industry. How about you?

Until next time…

Productivity 101: How I Stay Focused

 

Working from home with the option (I say, 'option' because it isn't a reality for me!) to slob around in your PJs; what's not to love? I'll start with the main drawback to my life as a freelance copywriter: staying focused.

freelance copywriter Yorkshire

While I've never missed a deadline and I pride myself on the fact I 'under-promise and over-deliver', motivating one's self (oooh, I sounded like the Queen for a second there!) can be tough. And the reason for that is this: without the threat of a boss man (or woman!) hovering over your desk at a second's notice, copywriters like myself can notice that the urge to put fingers to keyboard can wane a little, with the lure of Facebook, Twitter, or even YouTube, poking its cheeky little head into view.

So, in the absence of a boss (oh wait, that's me!) and a lack of colleagues tapping away at their computers to spur me on, how do I get stuff done?

Nothing is as important to me as meeting my clients' deadlines and exceeding their expectations, so here's what I do:

1. I Work in Threes

Now I don't mean I work with two other people; rather my to-do list never contains more than a trio of items. Plenty of people will attest that this works. And hey, it works for me too - so it shall long remain one of my top productivity tactics - until someone introduces me to another one.

2. I Set Alarms

If I have more than one project on the go, I divide each into timeframes - and set an alarm on my phone to ensure I only work for, say, three hours at a time on one job. That way, my mind is clearer (better for ensuring the ideas keep flowing) when I revisit a piece of work - and it helps me keep better track of hours spent per project, too.

3. I Keep a Routine

So, the hardest part of a freelancer's life is sticking to a routine. While you may begin the day with good intentions (with plans to get up at 7am, and take the long (joke) work commute from bedroom to your study by 9am) it doesn't always work that way. Sometimes, you'll find yourself downing tools at 3pm, taking an extended break, and then working until 11pm. It isn't always the best way to work; keeping to 9-5 hours is the best thing you can do for your motivation as a freelancer - and your social life!

 

4. I Get Out of the House

Being stuck indoors and communicating with NO ONE (sob!) is no good for your motivation levels - or your soul. So, I make sure I take at least one trip out during the day - even if it's just a walk around the block. It gives me that little burst of energy when I've been staring at my laptop all day, and it's even how I formulate many of my ideas for clients' websites.

And when I'm really pushed for time...

5. I Get TOTALLY Serious About Things...

...and deny myself a tea and biscuit break, a slice of cake; even a trip to the toilet. I'll tell myself: 'no, Lauren. You're not putting the kettle on, or going to the loo - not until you write another paragraph.' It may seem harsh - and possibly even a notch crazy - but hey, being your own boss can be tough; you've got to find the motivation from somewhere.

How do you stay focused when freelancing? It'd be good to pick up some more tips here at Lauren Holden Freelance. Why not comment on this blog with your own freelance copywriting tips and we can all learn from each other, eh?

Until next time...

Romance Ain't Dead; Here's Proof...

Has no one lavished you with flowers and chocs yet? More fool them, I say. ALL of them. Don't they realise how utterly lovely you are?!

But before you throw an almighty paddy...sit down, relax...get the kettle on. And remember that I love you. I really do.

If you've dropped by my site (even for a second), read my blogs - or better yet - used my services - thank you. It's people like you that keep a little old freelancer like myself in business. No really...cheers!

And because I want to send a little bit of love (woahhh, not like that - you cheeky scamps!) your way, I'm bringing you a special Valentine's copywriting discount*, to be redeemed anytime between now and Friday, February 17. Hey, I might be a cold and unromantic soul most of the time, but today you're in for a treat.

Enjoy 15% off any of the following copywriting services:

* Blogs

* E-newsletters

* Press Releases

* Flyers

* Proofreading

Interested in taking me up on this LOVEly, one-time offer? Get in touch at freelance@laurenholden.co.uk and quote the code 'LOVE15' in your email.

Over and out.

Right, I have a bag of chocolate truffles waiting for me (cheers - you know who you are!) and they won't eat themselves...

 

 

Looking for a West Yorkshire Copywriter?

If you've stumbled upon my website, I'm assuming you're in the market for a copywriter in West Yorkshire? It might be that you've been adding blogs to your own site for some time, but you're struggling to keep up with a weekly copywriting and PR schedule. That's where I can step in!

This article, over on the site Smedia, gives you a little insight into why blogging - and, for that matter, any kind of copywriting and PR - can help you where sales and new customers are concerned. The truth is, though, if you're not entirely sure what you should be doing, you could find that you're doing more harm than good to your site - and possibly, your existing customer base, too.

But don't panic? For as little as £35 a week, I can keep your blog up-to-date with new content to give your site a much better chance of being found on Google - because isn't that what it's all about in the first instance? Put yourself and your content in the palm of your customers' hands and who knows how it might benefit your business?

Looking for a West Yorkshire copywriter? Get in touch and see how I can help; from email marketing to social media management and web copy, I can help ensure your brand targets the people you're hoping to reach. Don't forget to see what others have to say about my services, too.